Maor M, Mukherjee I. Policy Overreaction Doctrine: From Ideal-Type to Context-Sensitive Solution in Times of Crisis . בתוך: Howlett M Handbook of Policy Formulation. Handbook of Policy Formulation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar ; 2017.
Maor M, Tosun J, Jordan A. Proportionate and disproportionate policy responses to climate change: core concepts and empirical applications . Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning. 2017;19 (6) :599-611.Abstract
A fresh perspective on policy-making and planning has emerged which views disproportionate policy as an intentional policy response. A disproportionate policy response is understood to be a lack of ‘fit’ or balance between the costs of a public policy and the benefits that are derived from this policy, and between policy ends and means. This paper applies this new perspective on the proportionality of policy-making to the area of climate change. The first part of the paper discusses the underlying causes of disproportionate policy responses in broad terms and then applies the theoretical reasoning to understand the conditions in which they are likely to appear in relation to climate change. These conditions are hypothesized to relate to four main factors: economic considerations; levels of public demand; focusing events; and strategic considerations. It concludes with the suggestion that societal actors may be able to manipulate these four factors to encourage politicians to adopt policies that mitigate climate change more rapidly than is currently the case in most countries.
Alon-Barkat S, Gilad S. Compensating for Poor Performance with Promotional Symbols: Evidence from a Survey Experiment. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 2017;27 (4) :661–675.Abstract

Extant literature regarding citizens’ responses to government public communications focuses on the roles of transparency and provision of information. Conversely, the effect of strategically designed symbols, which are integral to most public communications, received limited attention. Building on social psychology and marketing research, we theorize that familiar promotional symbols enhance citizens’ positive attitudes toward government through “evaluative conditioning,” yet this effect is conditioned by citizens’ experiences of actual government performance. We test these expectations via a survey experiment, which examines participants’ responses to a familiar promotional symbol of an Israeli state-owned electricity monopoly, given near-random variation in their experiences of prolonged power outages. We find that exposure to the well-known symbol enhances participants’ favorable attitudes toward the organization, and that this effect extends to those who recently experienced poor electricity services. The effect is significant in relation to participants’ trust in the organization, but not regarding their satisfaction and performance evaluation. These findings indicate that familiar promotional symbols can shape citizens’ attitudes, and compensate for the effect of poor performance, with regard to sufficiently ambiguous organizational aspects. We discuss the implications of these findings for current research on the effectiveness of transparency and performance information.

Ben-Nun Bloom P, Gilad S, Freedman M. Does exposure to other cultures affect the impact of economic globalization on gender equality? . International Political Science Review. 2017;38 (3) :378-395.Abstract

An extensive literature shows that economic globalization has a positive effect on gender equality. However, the effect varies greatly across countries and time. This article argues that social globalization – individuals’ exposure to external ideas, people, and information flows – and the changes in values associated with it – is a key boundary condition for the effect of economic globalization on women’s rights. While economic globalization opens up new opportunities for women, policy adaptation to these changes requires a social demand for efforts for change. Social globalization contributes to policy adaptation by exposing the public to alternative gender-role models, setting off a shift in values, which underlies support for gender equality. Results emerging from a time-series-cross-sectional analysis of 152 nations for the period 1990–2003 confirm that the positive effect of economic globalization on gender equality wanes at lower levels of social globalization. Further, multilevel-path-analyses models demonstrate how changes to individual-level values mediate the effect of globalization on individuals’ support for gender equality.

Walter D, Sheafer T, LN, Shenhav S. Not All Countries Are Created Equal: Foreign Countries Prevalence in U.S. News and Entertainment Media . Mass Communication and Society. 2016;19 (4) :522-541.Abstract

Why do some countries appear more popular than others in mass media? Although researchers have long sought to explain foreign countries’ prevalence in the media, to date they have exclusively focused on news, leaving other types of media content unexplored. In addition, focusing on media effects and media content, the literature on entertainment and politics has largely ignored the study of agenda-building processes. Thus, this study fills these gaps by exploring factors affecting the volume of references to foreign countries in both U.S. news and entertainment media. Analyzing more than 400 U.S. television shows, four news channels, and two newspapers spanning from 2000 to 2011, we reexamine past findings on salience of foreign countries in the news and apply these findings to a new field of research, entertainment media. We further suggest that the same factors shaping foreign countries’ prevalence in the news media are applicable to both news and entertainment and that in the context of foreign countries’ prevalence, the criteria for “newsworthiness” and “fictionworthiness” is similar.

Enos R, Gidron N. Intergroup Behavioral Strategies as Contextually Determined: ExperimentalEvidence from Israel. Journal of Politics. 2016;78 (3) :851-867.Abstract

Why are the negative effects of social diversity more pronounced in some places than in others? What are the mechanisms underlying the relationship between diversity and discriminatory behaviors, and why do they vary in prevalence and strength across locations? Experimental research has made advances in examining these questions by testing for differences in behavior when interacting with individuals from different groups. At the same time, research in American and comparative politics has demonstrated that attitudes toward other groups are a function of context. Uniting these two lines of research, we argue that discriminatory behaviors should be strongly conditioned by the ways in which groups are organized in space, allowing us to make predictions about the relationship between diversity, segregation, and intergroup behavior. We examine this claim in the context of intra-Jewish cleavage in Israel, using original data compiled through multisite lab-in-the-field experiments and survey responses collected across 20 locations.

Schvarcz B. Performing Persuasion: Two Rhetorical Approaches in Aristotle and the Talmud [Hebrew]. בתוך: Avnon D, Feuchtwanger DM Mizug Ofakim: Mahshava Medinit Yehudit-Yisraelit. Mizug Ofakim: Mahshava Medinit Yehudit-Yisraelit. Jerusalem: Magnes Press ; 2016. 'עמ. 102-128.
Bonikowski B, Gidron N. The Populist Style in American Politics: Presidential Campaign Discourse,1952-1996 . Social Forces. 2016;94 (1) :1593-1621.Abstract

This paper examines populist claims-making in US presidential elections. We define populism as a discursive strategy that juxtaposes the virtuous populace with a corrupt elite and views the former as the sole legitimate source of political power. In contrast to past research, we argue that populism is best operationalized as an attribute of political claims rather than a stable ideological property of political actors. This analytical strategy allows us to systematically measure how the use of populism is affected by a variety of contextual factors. Our empirical case consists of 2,406 speeches given by American presidential candidates between 1952 and 1996, which we code using automated text analysis. Populism is shown to be a common feature of presidential politics among both Democrats and Republicans, but its prevalence varies with candidates' relative positions in the political field. In particular, we demonstrate that the probability of a candidate's reliance on populist claims is directly proportional to his distance from the center of power (in this case, the presidency). This suggests that populism is primarily a strategic tool of political challengers, and particularly those who have legitimate claims to outsider status. By examining temporal changes in populist claims-making on the political left and right, its variation across geographic regions and field positions, and the changing content of populist frames, our paper contributes to the debate on populism in modern democracies, while integrating field theory with the study of institutional politics.

Shor E, Filkobski I, Ben-Nun Bloom P, Alkilabi H, Su W. Does counterterrorist legislation hurt human rights practices? A longitudinal cross-national analysis. Social Science Research. 2016;58 :104-121.Abstract

In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, many countries have passed new counterterrorist legislation. One of the common assumptions about such legislation is that it comes with a price: a compromise to practices of human rights. Previous research, looking at a wide range of case studies, suggested that this is indeed the case and that counterterrorist legislation often leads to subsequent repression. However, no large-scale cross-national study has yet assessed this relationship. Relying on a newly assembled database on nation-level counterterrorist legislation for the years 1981–2009, we conduct a cross-national time series analysis of legislation and repression. Our analyses find little evidence for a significant relationships between national counterterrorist legislation and various measures of core human rights in most countries. However, while legislation does not affect repression of physical integrity rights in countries with low and high levels of repression, it is associated with greater state repression in countries with intermediate scores of repression.

    Ben-Nun Bloom P. State-Level Restriction of Religious Freedom and Women's Rights: A Global Analysis. Political Studies. 2016;64 (4) :811-831.Abstract


    The literature is divided on the nature of the relationship between state-level restriction of religious freedom and women’s rights, as religious freedom can empower members of marginalized groups or advance gender-discriminatory practices. Employing a time-series cross-sectional analysis of data for two decades from 153 nations, this study shows that the relationship between religious regulation and women’s rights depends on the type of regulation, with regulation of the majority religion improving state-level women’s rights and discriminatory regulation specifically targeting minority religions impairing them. Furthermore, the effect of regulation is moderated by the context. Even relatively small regulatory steps promote women’s rights in patriarchal and non-democratic regimes by weakening the religion-state fusion and patriarchal values. However, in liberal democracies, the beneficial effects of regulation wane or even backfire, as religious institutions may rally around the religion. Consequently, this article advocates a multidimensional view of religious freedom, and warns against viewing secularization as inherently promoting gender equality.


    Cross W, Kenig O, Pruysers S, Rahat G. The Promise and Challenge of Party Primary Elections: A Comparative Perspective. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press; 2016.
    Rahat G, Hazan RY, Ben-Nun Bloom P. Stable Blocs and Multiple Identities: The 2015 Elections in Israel. Representation. 2016;52 (1) :99-117.Abstract

    This article analyzes the dynamics of the 2015 Israeli elections by examining the movement of votes within ideological blocs and the manifestation of multiple identities in the electoral campaigns. The premature collapse of Netanyahu’s government led Israel to general elections only two years and two months after the previous elections. The elections were portrayed as a horse race between the Likud and the Zionist Union. Indeed, both parties gained some support in comparison to the previous elections, yet almost all of their electoral gains were from parties in their own bloc. The politics of multiple identities steered these two parties to appeal to voters within their blocs, and also clearly defined the borders of these blocs. An exception was the new centrist Kulanu, which succeeded in capturing the strategic pivotal position. Likud’s clear-cut “victory” over the Zionist Union led Kulanu to join the Likud’s right-wing religious coalition.

    Maor M. Emotion-driven negative policy bubbles . Policy Sciences. 2016;49 (2) :191-210.Abstract

    Existing explanations of systematic undersupply of policy (e.g., institutional frictions, policy drift, and loss aversion) highlight the role of institutional and cognitive factors in the policy process while paying little attention to the role of emotions and emotional sentiments (e.g., policy mood). To bridge this gap, this article conceptualizes the role of negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, hatred, disgust) and emotional sentiments in driving systematic policy underreaction (or what I have termed a negative policy bubble). Regarding the birth of emotion-driven negative policy bubbles, the behavioral understanding advanced here points to (1) an endogenous process that affects opinion formation, attention, learning, behavior, and attitudes; (2) an exogenous shock that “turns on” an endogenous process; (3) emotional manipulation by emotional entrepreneurs, or (4) a process by which the psychological context within which the policy process takes place conditions policy dynamics. Self-reinforcing processes interact with the contagion of emotions, imitation, and herd behavior to reinforce the lack of confidence in the policy, thereby creating a lock-in effect of systematic undersupply of policy. This process may be interrupted following modest endogenous or exogenous perturbations; a decrease in the intensity and duration of negative emotions and/or an increase in their speed of decline by emotional entrepreneurs, as well as following the reduction in negativity bias when the information environment becomes predominantly negative. The paper also provides guidance on productive directions for future research.

    Abu-ʿUksa W. Freedom in the Arab World: Concepts and Ideologies in Arabic Thought in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press; 2016.Abstract
    A preoccupation with the subject of freedom became a core issue in the construction of all modern political ideologies. Here, Wael Abu-'Uksa examines the development of the concept of freedom (hurriyya) in nineteenth-century Arab political thought, its ideological offshoots, their modes, and their substance as they developed the dynamics of the Arabic language. Abu-'Uksa traces the transition of the idea of freedom from a term used in a predominantly non-political way, through to its popularity and near ubiquity at the dawn of the twentieth century. Through this, he also analyzes the importance of associated concepts such as liberalism, socialism, progress, rationalism, secularism, and citizenship. He employs a close analysis of the development of the language, whilst at the same time examining the wider historical context within which these semantic shifts occurred: the rise of nationalism, the power of the Ottoman court, and the state of relations with Europe.  
    Maor M. Missing Areas in the Bureaucratic Reputation Framework . Politics and Governance. 2016;4 (2) :80-90.Abstract

    Drawing on insights from social networks, social cognition and the study of emotions, this conceptual article offers a set of ideas and a series of predictions on how systematic variation in two sets of relationships may bear on agency behavior. The first is the agency-audience relationship which revolves around how and what multiple audiences think about public agencies, how these thoughts impact upon agency behavior, how information regarding this behavior is transformed within multiple audiences and how it influences audience memory and behavior regarding that agency. The second is the relationship between the reputation of an agency head and the reputation of that agency. The article identifies six broad areas that offer the most promising possibilities for future research on bureaucratic reputation, calling on researchers to incorporate insights from the aforementioned literatures, to dimensionalize these sets of relationships and to assess the generalizability of reputation’s effects.

    Maor M, Sulitzeanu-Kenan R. Responsive Change: Agency Output Response to Reputational Threats . Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 2016;26 (1) :31-44.Abstract
    How do reputational threats affect agency outputs? We undertake quantitative and qualitative analyses of reputation and outputs data regarding the fight against welfare fraud by the main service delivery agency for the Australian government in the field of social policy. We find that an agency’s response to reputational threats is endogenously differential both within the set of agency outputs and between agency outputs and other activities (a pattern we termed responsive change ). For the former, we find that when an agency output is below average, negative media coverage leads to an increase in output in the following year. However, this relationship is nullified for agency outputs that are about average and is reversed for outputs that are above average, that is, these outputs tend to decrease following negative media coverage. For the latter, we find that when a reputational threat is joined by a general above average level of outputs, the agency’s drive for change is likely to be channeled into activities other than the number of units of service delivered (e.g., public relations, community engagements, stakeholder consultations, etc.).
    Maor M. Strategic Silence. בתוך: Carroll CE The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Corporate Reputation. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage ; 2016. 'עמ. 822-824.
    Gilad S, Alon‐Barkat S, Braverman A. Large‐Scale Social Protest: A Business Risk and a Bureaucratic Opportunity . Governance. 2016;29 (3) :371-392.Abstract

    The public versus private nature of organizations influences their goals, processes, and employee values. However, existing studies have not analyzed whether and how the public nature of organizations shapes their responses to concrete social pressures. This article takes a first step toward addressing this gap by comparing the communication strategies of public organizations and businesses in response to large‐scale social protests. Specifically, we conceptualize, theorize, and empirically analyze the communication strategies of 100 organizations in response to large‐scale social protests that took place in Israel during 2011. We find that in response to these protests, public organizations tended to employ a “positive‐visibility” strategy, whereas businesses were inclined to keep a “low public profile.” We associate these different communication strategies with the relatively benign consequences of large‐scale social protests for public organizations compared with their high costs for businesses.

    Alon-Barkat S, Gilad S. Political control or legitimacy deficit? Bureaucracies' symbolic responses to bottom-up public pressures . Policy & Politics. 2016;44 (1) :41-58.Abstract

    Public administration research has thus far focused on the responses of bureaucracies to top-down pressures by elected politicians. By comparison, bureaucracies' responses to bottom-up public pressures, such as media coverage and social protest, and the micro-mechanisms that underlie the variation in their response, have received less attention. This study contributes to current literature by analysing the extent to which subjection to political control shapes the direct response of bureaucracies to bottom-up public pressures. Based on current literature, we explore two distinct micro-mechanisms: on the one hand, building, inter alia, on principal–agent theory, we would expect higher levels of political control to render bureaucracies more attentive to public pressures in order to preempt intervention by politicians who are reliant on public support (the principal–agent mechanism). Conversely, building on regulation theory, we would expect autonomous agencies to exhibit their attentiveness to salient public pressures in order to compensate for their precarious democratic legitimacy (the legitimacy-deficit mechanism). Empirically, we analyse the responses of a diverse set of 36 bureaucracies to the unprecedented social protests that took place in Israel during 2011. We focus on bureaucracies', including independent agencies', symbolic responses via advertising campaigns. Our analysis shows that higher levels of political control enhanced the inclination of bureaucracies to engage in symbolic interactions in response to the social protests, supporting our extended version of the principal–agent model.

    de Shalit A. The ethics of academic boycott . Journal of Politics. 2016;78 :642-652.Abstract

    This article asks whether an academic boycott is morally justified. It does not relate to the question whether academia and politics should be mixed. Instead, relying on the case study of the debate surrounding the academic boycott of Israeli academia by British, and later American academics, the article analyzes the various arguments applying analytical political philosophy tools. Broadly speaking two families of arguments—consequentialist and deontological—are found. Consequentialist arguments rely on three psychological, sociological, and political assumptions that are false and make them counterproductive (bearing in mind the overall goal declared by the boycott promoters). Despite some initial appeal, the deontological arguments also fail, at least to a certain extent, to justify the boycott. Finally I discuss what I call “selective boycotting.”